Sunday, October 31, 2010

Freo and Perth and All Hallows Eve

I've been in Freo (Fremantle) for a couple of days, mostly just bouncing around the city and exploring. I spent a night with the Shreeve family, one of my mother's former student's mom's sister living in Perth. They were very nice to take me in, and have already offered again for when I am homeless next weekend after my tour. I have booked 2 tours, both kind of steep in price, but will take up 2 weeks of time and include my room and board, which means no more thinking required on my part. The first tour gives me a pretty complete overview of the southwest, so it takes care of what I was trying to accomplish. The second tour takes me north up the coast, and I have arranged to be stranded in Exmouth at the end. No one would ever purposefully arrange for this to happen, except I have also already booked a greyhound bus to take me from Exmouth that night to Broome. I have been trying to really limit my money output, I am getting down to the wire considering I still have a little over a month left. Take a look at my map now. The green is what I've done, the purple was the original route. I've generally stuck to the plan, but it will look very different after this next leg when I go tour the southwest then head north along the coast. Tonight I went to a sushi places, one of those places that has a little track that circulates the food in front of you and you pick plates off the track as you want them. Going in, you see the plates are color coded, ranging from just $2 to $5, and you think you could really come off cheap on this. But you don't take into account that food is constantly rotating in front of you, and if you make selections that aren't too tasty, you still have to pay for them. I had eyed a movie theater next door, and had seen that the next showing of The Social Network was around 7. I had wanted to see it, and figured if it was less than $20, I would go. But at some point during dinner, seeing as I am running low on cash, I had to make the choice between raw fish and Justin Timberlake, a choice that I am sure every person has had to grapple with at some point in their lives. I resisted some very nice looking tuna that came past me several times, and paid the check. The movie ticket was just this side of 20, but I went for it. She asked if I wanted anything from the candy bar, and I pocketed my last $3 dollars, knowing that even if the answer was yes, I didn't have enough.
This hostel I am staying in is kind of weird. I mean, it's a lot like most hostels I've stayed in, but I could see myself going mad very quickly here, much quicker than other places I have stayed. For one, the restroom fans run constantly in both bathrooms when the light is on. And this fan is not quiet. You can hear it inside your rooms. It's a constant, humming, dull basketball buzzer background noise. And one fan is slightly lower in key than the other, so they seem to be trying to sing together, but someone is off key. It's always present, in the kitchen, in the dining area, everywhere except the lobby. No where is really comfy, which is not really new for hostels either, but when you have a top bunk, you really have no choice than to try and find other seating (or make sure you have gathered everything you will need for several hours when you set out for your trek to the top). First you have to decide if you can tolerate the people around you. Then you note the background noise. If it's tolerable, you then consider if you can handle the overall comfort of the chair. If all these things align, make yourself at home! I've become quite the pro at climbing into the top bunk without a ladder. It seems the fat girl that gets up earlier than everyone else always has to sleep on the top of skinny bias that sleep in until noon. But isn't that just how life is? I mean, they should make that into a bumper sticker. But I deal, and do my best to roll out of bed quietly and creep around them all morning, 'cause that's what I do.

I'm back in Perth now. I caught the train earlier today. I had to check out at 10am, and my new hostel wouldn't take me until 2pm (just sticking to policy, as now I have checked in and there was CLEARLY no reason I couldn't have checked in at noon), so I had a few hours to kill. Since I had all my bags with me, tourist activities had to be limited to a minimum. I threw my bags in the corner and watched some sport of Ireland versus Australia with a bunch of Irish guys sitting around me muttering obscenities when Australia scored. I still don't know what the sport was. It was like soccer, except you could touch the ball and there were goal posts as well as a soccer goal. One sec, let me google... ok, it was gaelic football. Actually, it was international rules football, which is a fusion of Australian rules football and gaelic football. Now they are just making stuff up. Anyway, Australia won. I left about noon to get cheap lunch at subway and found through the line with my bags. I got the train about 1pm, and it took about 30 minutes to make it through all the stops. I don't understand who enforces that you actually purchase a ticket for the train. No one was around to take my ticket or to scan it or even see that I bought a ticket. I really think it would have been quite easy to ride without even buying one. But it was only $3.70, so it would have been very cheap of me to steal that. After getting my bearings, I walked about 30 minutes to get to my hostel. It only took 30 minutes because I had to go through several malls and stopped twice to readjust bags that were cutting off arm circulation. This hostel is very lax. Too lax, I think. The room is standing open for anyone to walk in and rummage or take stuff. So I will not be leaving anything of value in there. Also, there are 10 beds but 6 lockers, so I can't even try to lock stuff up. And I of course have a top bunk again. I probably will for the rest of the trip. You know, I am just going to assume now that is what is going to happen, so if I get a bottom bunk, I will be so excited.
Tonight is halloween. I am not planning on doing anything. I did buy some weird green hair braids in St. Kilda. I might just put them on and walk around because I could get away with it. But I am checking out tomorrow at 6 am to leave for my southwest tour, so I won't be doing anything too late. I will update as I can the next week, but I have no idea how much access I will have to internet. It may be just a massive update on the weekend.

Happy Halloween!

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